Exploring Rural Context and Opportunities: A Report to the National Fund for Workforce Solutions
In 2007, several national foundations and the U.S. Department of Labor launched the National Fund for Workforce Solutions, a $30 million effort to strengthen and expand high-impact workforce development initiatives across the country. In preparing the National Fund for Workforce Solutions, the investors gained experience with the urban component of such work, but the rural context was less well understood. The Annie E. Casey Foundation, on behalf of the National Fund's Investor Committee, engaged the services of the Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group to explore how the initiative might operate in rural America. This report identifies design issues that should be taken into account in developing a rural-focused element to the National Fund's grantmaking program. It also identifies “sites of excellence” or promise from which to learn.